Around the Corner Balconyfrom Alexander Krenczik
Condominiums and apartment buildings can be designed with corner, wrap around balconies to provide dramatic views. These corner balconies are most commonly cantilevered concrete balconies which are a slab extension from the building’s interior slab surface.
Corner balconies provide heightened aesthetics designs as well as ensure optimal sun exposure on the balcony. This is especially important when your balcony faces east, to allow a corner section on the south to provide additional sun exposure during the day. In dormitories, balconies are often used as loggia walkways around the building as an evacuation scenario for a fast and secure escape.
Structural Connections with Performance
Since thermal bridging is a common issue in continuous concrete slabs, a thermal break should be integrated into the design. Thermally separating the interior concrete slab from the exterior corner balconies requires structural considerations.
First of all, there is only a small corner to anchor the force from the corner segment back to the structure (blue square), and secondly the corner has geometrically the furthest projection (yellow line).
Top view of corner balcony
Solution for Corner Balconies
Schöck Isokorb® has developed a special structural element to anchor the forces occurring at the corner back to the slab structure while additionally providing a thermal break.
The corner elements consist of two separate “legs” for the corner with thicker rebar diameter and different layers of reinforcement, so that the bars cross over each other. The Schöck Isokorb® corner installation is an efficient quick and simplistic solution to provide thermally efficient corner balconies.
There are 3 different standard structural thermal break product types available for different load ranges, depending on the cantilever length. Additional customized thermal break solutions can be designed to suit project needs and load conditions.
Here is an example:
The Engineering team at Schöck will design the most suitable and economical solution for your project with PE stamp and seal in the project’s jurisdiction.
Conclusion: An engineered solution is available to structurally connect corner balconies and provide a thermal break, improving energy performance at the balcony while continuing around the corner.
Visit the Schöck North America website for more information about structural thermal breaks for concrete and steel connections. Explore the full range of Isokorb® products for balcony, canopy, steel beam, exposed slab edge, parapet and rooftop connections.
Considering structural thermal breaks for an upcoming project? Have a Schöck Engineer call you to answer your specific design questions.